Such a rare site these days. A plane…. According to the flight app it’s on the way to Houston. I wonder how many are on the flight? With so many unseen enemies I don’t imagine it’s a particularly pleasant experience.

I was never the greatest of flyers. I was always one of those who kept one beady eye on fellow passengers for unusual behaviour and the other on the structural integrity of the plane. Luckily I never had too many bad experiences.

  • A landing at Geneva which was a tad extreme. I heard one flight attendant say – that’s the co pilot, he drives his car just as bad….
  • An argument with English Border Security why they were body searching our 3 year old toddler who was holding a cuddly dinosaur and his 73 year old granny, yet waving through adults my age. I wonder if that got me onto the security watch list….
  • A last second aborted landing at Leeds Bradford. Sudden pull up with feet to go. Then 10 minutes circling at an extremely low height with no pilot update. Finally the pilot announced that the power had gone out at the airport during the landing.
  • A year later circling Leeds Bradford airport for far too long waiting for the wind to drop. The pilot didn’t help the mood by announcing that the plane was low on fuel so they could only circle one more time before they he would have to find another airport that was open.

But then you balance that out with great memories

  • That first glimpse of The Alps through the plane window.
  • On a flight to Amsterdam telling son a story about a talking mole who would sneeze so hard he would blow clothes off washing lines. People and other talking animals would stand in front of the mole hoping for a sneeze and a free journey. A mole whose best friends are an overweight tea drinking cheetah and a crocodile who was scared of everything. When I finished I heard the toddler behind us laughing her head off. Her parents asked if I would tell another one for her. Ended up doing stories until we landed.
  • Our toddler son telling the the flight attendant on a Lufthansa flight that the in flight cakes were the best thing he had ever had. Just before we left the plane, the flight attendant returned with a huge box of the cakes. Kept him going for months.
  • As we boarded a Swissair flight the pilot clearly took a shining to our son. Seconds later son was sat in the pilots seat with her pilot hat on. He was shown how to fly the plane. That’s an awful lot of things to look at.
  • Swissair was always so much fun. Just before you landed they would dish out free goodies for you to take with you. Free chocolate, free small wine bottles, free sweets and a free soft toy for the kids. Sadly they went bankruptI wonder why….

Back to that one flight in the air heading to Houston. It got me thinking about when I would fly again. The question rapidly changed into if I would ever fly again… Aspergers and modern flying are not natural partners. Too many people squeezed into confined spaces. In your face security. Never ending queues. Unpredictable timings designed around the planes rather than the individual. The sensory overload and lack of personal space or quiet areas. Maybe the answer is never.

If and when travel resumes for the world…. if and when travel resumes for us then we have options. Train journey is still not subject to many of the burdens that go with flying. Car travel can be so much fun …..just need a car that could make it out of Yorkshire. And yes air travel may still be an option.

Or maybe I can find a talking mole who has a talent for massive sneezing. Maybe mole sneeze induced travel is the eco friendly option for the future.

114 thoughts on “Flight

  1. I saw this too a few weeks ago and because that was the first time I’ve seen one in what feels like a long time the first thing that came to mind was this scene in 28 Days Later. Later that day my niece who lives in the next city posted the shot in her IG stories. Surreal how we were all looking at it at the same time from our quiet corners in our homes, and a simple sight had our minds wondering, remembering.

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  2. I know I wont be getting on a plane any time soon. I’ve never had a passport (never needed one, even for Mexico and Canada) and my Driver’s License isn’t the “new” kind that’s “Federally recognized”, which means I can’t board a plane.🤷🏼‍♀️ I don’t really see myself going anywhere that would require a plane anyway.
    I’d love to travel, but Ben will have need if my services for many years yet😉💌

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  3. Yep, I’m not keen on flying really but I love the opportunity it brings. To experience new places, sights and sounds. I can see airports and planes becoming places of anxiety for many, then with aspergers thrown into the mix … it is a minefield for sure!

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      1. We were all booked to go back out to North Carolina to stay with my cousin and his family again. Early august. A few days on the east coast beach, trip to mountains and white water rafting maybe, then chilling in NC. Didn’t sort out insurance, don’t know if flights will still be on and don’t think we’d want to fly even if they are. We saved up for 2 years to get out there and see them again. Sad but it’s the way it is for many.

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      2. Yep almost two years ago now. It was amazing. We visited New York and Washington, did the beach trip and white water rafting in the black mountains. I love my cousin, he and I are very close and his wife is like my sister. Their three girls love the outdoors and the five kids have a great time hanging out together. It was one of the best holidays I’ve had, the boys too I think. We don’t go abroad too often due to cost etc so we saved up a long time for that one!

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      3. It will. That’s for sure. At the moment I can’t think more than one day ahead. Too many what ifs and unknowns. I had a few tricky things to navigate anyway and now it’s all so complicated I just focus on the day ahead and the boys x

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      4. I am trying. Some days easier than others but today I’m up, listening and rating 3 year old’s speech for my colleagues PhD and actually feeling ok. Not sure about a run though. It’s howling a gale out there!!

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      5. Do it and enjoy every minute!
        I think that’s my plan at 4pm. Get the boys to choose a couple of films. Popcorn, sweets, chocolate and blankets. Cuddle up on the sofa for a good few hours. Just couple more hrs of work …

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      6. Oh dear! Maybe we overstretched ourselves with adding the dark.

        I’ve got a new plan to help my balance and coordination… I’m going to take up yoga. I’ve downloaded an app. Is that just asking for trouble?

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      7. Total confusion … a lot of words with no content. No one will have a clue what they can and can’t do. My plan is therefore to do nothing different! What will you do for work?

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      8. Our work is based on outdoor events and things like cycle races. Nothing in June. Still have a couple of events in July and August but I suspect they will go. Maybe September before anything starts. Probably for the best as it looks like Son will be off till September anyway. x

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      1. That’s a shame. Dublin Airport is great. Plus now they have introduced a Sensory Room that you can book so you get to chill out. Haven’t used it though.
        My son loves travelling to different countries and really misses it. My daughter hates leaving the house for any reason. So it can get tricky keeping everyone happy.

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  4. Oh my gosh that is a lot of scary experiences! But sounds like a lot of good ones too. That was nice of the flight attendant to give your son a box of cakes – how nice! I’ve often thought the same. I don’t know if I will ever be able to get Declan on a plane. And if I did, would he stay on it? Kind of limits a lot of travel. Time will tell if and when we ever take that venture!

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  5. I’ve only flown 3x but I like to think I become a better traveler each time I do. I have a paranoia of missing the plane even though I’m early for everything. My first flight was in 2011 to Chicago to visit a friend. I left from a tiny airport in Harrisburg, PA and arrived at Ohare and was immediately overwhelmed until I found my friend. My second trip was again to Chicago to visit the same friend for a few days then onto Portland to visit another friend. My husband was along for that trip so I wasn’t quite as neurotic. This past November we flew to Chicago for a layover then onto New Orleans and that was the calmest I ever was. It’s funny because most people fear flying yet the whole process of airports and getting to the plane stresses me more, once I’m in my seat on the plane I’m perfectly fine!

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  6. It was lovely to hear of the little girl being entertained by your storytelling, as well as your son. Being able to make children laugh with stories is a wonderful gift.

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  7. Airlines here in America are gonna suffer hard… they did it before with 9/11 so I think they will survive?

    As far as flying? I’m kinda thinking it would have to be changed? You can’t sardine people with a virus like this? So maybe more space? It’s gonna hurt them pretty badly… no matter what they do.

    But you do still have business travelers. And people will want to or need to use for personal use also… so not sure how will come back?

    I have flown all my life… they don’t even care to frisk me … I don’t have to take anything off – they just pull me to the side and let me go right through. I was with police for awhile so maybe is because of that? But again I have always flown… love flying (except on Southwest – I hate Southwest!) lol – you are like Cattle on Southwest 🤨

    My favorite is Jet Blue… I just like them.

    Back in the day – Continental, United, and American used to take kids into cockpit and give you wings all kinds of stuff and show you the controls … none of that is ever done anymore.

    Anyway… might be just a little different after all this? I just don’t know how to imagine it?

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  8. Before I had ever flown, I swore I no one would ever get me on a plane. Well, a friend and I decided to take a trip to Bermuda and, of course, the only way to get there was to fly. But once I had experienced it, I was hooked. I love to fly, though I haven’t done so in several decades as I can no longer afford to take trips. I did have a couple of problems on flights. Once we were taking off from the Toronto airport when the plane hit a flock of birds. Or maybe the flock of birds hit the plane. Anyway, I think it messed up one of the engines and we had to land. They had to clean another plane before we could get started again. Another flight was held up by bad weather and when I reached the Tampa airport, I had missed my connecting flight and some friends were waiting in Sarasota to pick me up. Of course there was no way to let them know. Another time, leaving Amsterdam for home (London Ontario Canada) the plane was held up for about an hour and a half, and we missed the last flight from Toronto to London for the night. Fortunately someone from our group tour invited us to stay overnight with them and I called my Dad the next day and he picked us up and brought us back home. One time my luggage was lost on the way to Florida, and I was there in the middle of summer heat with no clean clothes. They found it somewhere with all tags ripped off, but I did get it in a few days. And coming back from Europe, my suitcase looked like something had run over it. That was the day of hard suitcases. It was a mess, but at least nothing was missing.

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    1. That reminds me of something I completely forgot about. When I was young I flew to Africa to see my sister. My first ever flight. The first attempt at taking off was aborted just after we started accelerating. The second attempt we had to brake to avoid birds. Probably explains why I’m not a great flyer.

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  9. Scary memory…landing in Raleigh on Southwest Airlines out of Houston. Our pilot fought strong winds coming in and he was nearly dribbling us like a basketball down the runway. There was applause when we came to a stop. My ex-Marine and I were tense but, we knew the pilot. He just happened to be a combat Marine pilot, a Lt. Col. and a friend of my ex. We bought that man a drink.

    Happy memory…flying out of La Guardia at dusk and seeing all the lights of Manhattan. It was 1991, it was my very first flight to New York and my second flight in an airplane.

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  10. On a flight to Florida for my parents’ 50th anniversary, the airport was doing random searches of passengers. They chose my father as someone to check more closely. They made him take off his prosthetic leg in the middle of the airport. He was 76 years old. I still get irritated when I think about it.

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